Strictly Come Dancing has helped me quit drinking, says Lee Ryan

The actor and singer feels he has also lost weight since he starting rehearsing routines for the BBC One show.

Press Association
Last updated: 5 October 2018 - 12.10am

Lee Ryan says training for Strictly Come Dancing has helped him give up alcohol.

The Blue singer and EastEnders star, who went to rehab in 2014 after a drink-driving arrest, said the show has already changed his life and he has been helped by his professional dance partner Nadiya Bychkova.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
Lee Ryan and Nadiya Bychkova practise their latest dance (David Mirzeoeff/PA)

He told the Press Association: “If anything I’ve lost a lot of weight, I haven’t weighed myself but my clothes feel massively different and I just feel great.

“I’ve stopped drinking, I’m on the wagon. It’s good, though, because I have in the past dabbled and struggled and gone to rehab and stuff so I’ve just decided that drink is not good for me and it’s a really good thing (quitting).

“Nadiya really helped, she turned around and said ‘you should just knock it on the head’.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
The duo take a break from rehearsal (David Mirzoeff/PA)

“Everyone has a strand of DNA and mine says ‘I can’t have just one’. I feel amazing for it (stopping drinking).”

He added: “Idle hands make the devil’s work and it’s good to be busy.

“I don’t have time, I couldn’t do this on a hangover, I want this opportunity to be fit, healthy, focused.

“It’s such a good opportunity and it doesn’t come along many times in your life.

“It’s really good for me, it feels like quite a turnaround for my own mentality, which is not just for the show but for me personally as well.”

Speaking during a break in rehearsing the cha-cha-cha, which he will perform to Power Of Love on Saturday’s show, Ryan said he was annoyed by speculation he and Bychkova have become romantically involved after they were photographed holding hands.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
The duo walking to rehearsal (David Mirzoeff/PA)

He said: “The two times we have been caught holding hands by the paparazzi, one was when I went to grab her hand to say ‘let’s go in here for a coffee’ and there was a pap there.

“Then I was just grabbing her hand to walk across a busy junction on Marble Arch and then everyone goes: ‘Why should he be holding her hand?’

“Well its because I wanted a coffee and so she doesn’t get run over by the 67 bus.

“Imagine if I didn’t and she was on the floor mangled but I was like ‘no – people will think we’re together’.”

Ryan added he and Bychkova are determined to come back stronger after being in the dance-off last week.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
(David Mirzoeff/PA)

He said: “I think it’s more motivating. I’ve been knocked down more times than a bowling pin, this ain’t going to do it for me.

“I think we’ve worked even harder on this dance routine.

“It’s like learning a different language each week, with different accents, different inflections and timings, it’s like learning Japanese and then learning French.

“Each week it changes but each week we are getting stronger.”

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